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Chamblee Apologizes to Tiger
On Tuesday, Brandel Chamblee issued an apology to Tiger Woods. The action stems from an article written by Chamblee, also an analyst for Golf Channel, last week on Golf.com.
In the article, Chamblee gave Woods - the No. 1-ranked player in the world and PGA Tour's 2013 Player of the Year - an "F" not for his successful, five-time win season but because "ethics matter more than athletics."
"I remember when we only talked about Tiger's golf," Chamblee wrote. "I miss those days. He won five times and contended in majors and won the Vardon Trophy and . . . how shall we say this . . . was a little cavalier with the rules." He then gave Woods a "100" score and drew a line through it, followed by the "F."
On Tuesday night, Chamblee backtracked, writing in a series of posts on his Twitter account, "My intention was to note Tiger's rules infractions this year, but comparing that to cheating in grade school went too far."
"What brought me here was the realization that my comments inflamed an audience on two sides of an issue," Chamblee wrote on Twitter. "Golf is a gentleman's game and I'm not proud of this debate. I want to apologize to Tiger for this incited discourse."
After reading the original article, Woods' agent, Mark Steinberg of Excel Sports Management, released a statement to ESPN.com that accused Chamblee of trying to draw attention. In an interview with ESPN.com, Steinberg said he was considering "legal action." Steinberg did not reply to a follow-up email from the AP.
Steinberg also said on EPSN.com: "There's nothing you can call a golfer worse than a cheater. This is the most deplorable thing I have seen. I'm not one for hyperbole, but this is absolutely disgusting. Calling him a cheater? I'll be shocked, stunned, if something is not done about this. Something has to be done. There are certainly things that just don't go without response. It's atrocious. I'm not sure if there isn't legal action to be taken. I have to give some thought to legal action."
Steinberg did not reply to an email from The Associated Press after Chamblee apologized.
Woods has had a difficult time this year with some rules violations, real and perceived. He was assessed a two-shot penalty in Abu Dhabi for taking relief from an embedded ball in a sandy area covered with vegetation. On Saturday morning after the second round of the Masters, Augusta National officials gave him a two-stroke penalty for an improper drop but didn't disqualify him for signing an incorrect scorecard, a situation that brought widespread indignation over whether the four-time Masters champion received "star" treatment and, because of his status as one of the game's greatest players, whether a more honorable choice would have been to DQ himself.
He also received a two-shot penalty by the PGA Tour following the second round of the BMW Championship when a video showed his ball moved slightly from behind the first green when he removed a twig. Then there was a question of whether he took an improper drop in the final round of the Players Championship, despite playing partner Casey Wittenberg saying that Woods' drop position by a hazard was correct.
Chamblee never directly called Woods a cheater in his article (http://www.golf.com/tour-and-news/tiger-woods-gets-f-brandel-chamblees-year-end-grades).